Episode 219

Bolaji Ayodeji on Open Source Festival 2023


February 9th, 2024

17 mins 29 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Bolaji Ayodeji


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

In this episode, host Richard has a conversation with and guest, Bolaji Ayodeji, Software Engineer, Content Creator, Community Engineer, and an organizer of the OSCA (Open Source Community Africa), the biggest open source conference in Africa. Bolaji highlights the Sustain conference at OSCA, emphasizing the recent summit’s wide range of workshops, significant attendance, and the introduction of new working groups, particularly in mental health and data science. The importance of self-care and workload management in the open source community is a key topic, and Bolaji shares some strategies to maintain physical health while functioning in high-demand roles. Looking forward, they are making plans for the 2024 festival with a hope of attracting a more diverse group of attendees! Hit download now to hear more!

[00:01:20] Bolaji tells us OSCA’s been around four years, with the conference itself being three years old, and he mentions the first Sustain in Africa happened in 2020, following the one in Belgium.

[00:02:00] The conversation shifts to the Sustain conference at OSCA, which includes a variety of workshops. Bolaji details this year’s Sustain summit, the duration of the event, the number of working groups, and attendance.

[00:03:25] Bolaji describes the format of the sessions at Sustain, his role with the timer, and the facilitation process.

[00:04:21] Richard appreciates the work put into organizing the event and Bolaji shares his excitement about introducing new working groups focused on areas like mental health and data science.

[00:06:33] Bolaji explains that the reports from the event are being prepared and will be published on the SustainOSS website.

[00:07:19] The conversation turns to the challenge of organizing workshops on burnout and the focus of these sessions. Bolaji talks about the burnout and mental health session, discussing the importance of self-care and managing workload.

[00:09:35] Richard and Bolaji discuss the scale of OSCA and the proportion of attendees who contribute to open source as a full-time job versus a side project.

[00:10:31] Bolaji provides a few tips on maintaining wellbeing while contributing to open source, including prioritizing tasks, having a life outside work, and ensuring rest and relaxation.

[00:12:44] Richard asks Bolaji about any surprises from the Sustain sessions, and he notes that there was a varied interest in different working groups, with more interest in some than others.

[00:14:18] Will there be future events coming up? Bolaji confirms that there will be another Open Source Festival and Sustain Summit in 2024, but no specific details yet.

[00:14:38] If you can’t attend but want to be involved, Bolaji mentions the Open Source Community Africa Discord server where the discussions continue, where the report will be shared, and he talks about volunteering opportunities.


[00:06:01] “Sustainability is not just about the project itself, it’s about the people who manage the projects.”

[00:07:37] “You’re already burnt out form your normal job, and then you have to figure how to contribute to open source.”

[00:11:32] “Sometimes you need to touch the grass.”



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